Fire Dept. Log

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday January 07, 2009 - 06:26:00 PM

Eunice Street blaze 

A smoke detector did its job in Berkeley on Monday morning, warning residents of a fire in their home in the 2300 block of Eunice Street. 

“Everyone got out without any injury,” said Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong. 

“We were called by the residents after they were awakened by the alarm,” he said, “showing once again how important it is to have working smoke detectors.” 

The deputy chief said the fire was caused when a burning log rolled out of the fireplace, igniting the flooring. 

The blaze spread to the walls around the fireplace and did more than $20,000 in structural damage before it was extinguished by firefighters. 

It’s not only smoke detectors that matter, said Deputy Chief Dong. “We have three cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in the Bay Area during the recent cold spell.” 

Carbon monoxide detectors would have helped, warning residents of a build up of the colorless, odorless gas before it reached toxic levels. 

But just as important, said the deputy chief, is to check to see that furnaces are working properly. 

And at least one of the cases stemmed from the use of a gas-powered generator to power appliances after regular electric service had been disconnected. 

“No gasoline- or propane-powered equipment should be used inside a residence,” he said.